Title: Marabou Storks
Summary: Sometimes, what happens on the mission should stay quiet and hidden away, if only because all memory of it causes extreme embarrassment and harassing older brothers always bringing it up. Batfamily fic, kinda.
Warning: In connection to 'An Experiment' and 'We Are Here…' if only because of age range and dry humor radiating from the Batclan.
Disclaimer: I do not make any money off of these characters or this plotline in the least. I own nothing that can be used against me in court.
Dedication: To RobinFangirl, I suppose. I didn't want to continue with this train of thought for a while, but a strange plotbunny crawled out of my head and delivered this from kind words and I was grateful enough to service them.
The birds that the Young Justice group were to catch in that colossal jungle for no reason other than to track Penguin and his latest activities around the globe were not something that anyone who had to tag them cared to remember, though it came readily apparent that forces were at work to make sure that they remembered every single day.
One morning, a week after that horrible mockery of a mission, and also one of the mornings after he was allowed to spend the night at Mount Justice for a sort of sleepover with Wally and Conner, Dick had the misfortune to be the first one to walk into the kitchen to get some breakfast. Normally and most often he would go straight to the cupboards first for some of his high wheat cereal Batman kept stocking the place with and then he would get the milk from the fridge. Sadly, this was not one of those mornings and therefore he was allowed a little surprise that almost gave him a heart attack without any stall.
Opening the fridge, Robin was confronted by a life sized cutout cardboard picture of one of those horrible, unflattering in any way-shape-or-form birds that had actually only been caught and tagged with microchips because Wally had seen three of them killing flamingos (much to the speedster and Artemis's unified distress; Dick still couldn't get over the image of the one he had to catch, defecating on its own legs as a form of cooling off).
On the image of the Marabou Stork—an awful little creature with no aesthetic value, and with nothing in its behavior or personality to endear it to humans (let alone Penguin, as far as Dick could see), especially as it always had bad hygiene and everything from its neck to the tip of its bill gave off the image of a burn victim that would make human skin crawl—with its head tilted menacingly and its food raised in a death blow it would use to kill other birds, was a little blue sticky note with familiar handwriting along the whole of it.
Removing the sticky note, but not reading it—not until he's made cereal and maybe an entire pot of coffee for himself, by god—Dick grabbed the cutout stork by the neck, much like he had done on the mission, and started ripping the thing in pieces. No need to give anyone else the nightmares he was having of those disgusting creatures. Uh-uh, NOPE.
Tossing the pieces of the cardboard into the trash and, as an after-thought, crushing the lot down further into the trash bin with his slippered foot, leaving quite the image to be left to the imagination if anyone walked in and saw him doing so, Dick was almost satisfied just to leave it at that and start eating, but…
The sticky note in his hand still needed to be read and he knew—just like he knew the sky was blue, the oceans belong to Aquaman and that his brothers would so find a way to get him back and up the torture if he didn't read the thing—that throwing it away unread was not an option really worth taking the path down.
Sighing, the blue eyed acrobat took a seat at the island, after grabbing his cereal and dumping it into his bowl—little brown flakes with raisins and dried berries that stuck seeds to the backs of his teeth like little unwanted hitchhikers—and unstuck the note from his palm to read the script with the trademark serial killer slant that, despite all classes and tries to remove, Jason still couldn't get out of the habit of using.
"Heya, Dickie-bird. Thought I'd offer the best top of the morning to you that I knew how with the reminder of one of your bigger missions you went onto. God bless Tallant showing the recording big brothers got after stalking you, right? Anyway, there are more goodies hidden around your home base. Betcha can't find them all before your buddies wake up. –Rock on, Jason."
Dick didn't feel it while he was reading, but in his right hand, the fork he had been holding had been deformed in his grip to bend at the middle of its length and again at the base of the neck before he simply dropped the warped metal onto the counter and hopped off the stool he sat upon to race back into the room he'd shared last night with Conner and Wally. This was done only after he'd read the P.S. at the end of the note.
"P.S.: Where do little kids believe the boogeyman goes after a night of hiding in the closet?"
'I hate them, I hate them, I hate them, I hate them….' Dick just kept rethinking over and over again about every one of the brothers he had that had either stalked him on his mission, video recorded the proceedings of that mission or had watched on the results on the high-definition TV in the Wayne Manor living room with popcorn, as he tip-toed around the still snoring Wally and across Superboy (who had his mouth hanging open but was decided not the type to snore) so he could stand on top of the bed and try and reach the three other cardboard cutouts Jason had somehow managed to tape to the wall above their heads when they were asleep last night.
Being as Robin was shorter than EVERYONE else on the team and as well as in his entire family, sadly, he could not reach the cutouts.